Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride is a laugh-out-loud funny book.

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

But humor is not the only thing in this book. In the worlds of the author, this book has: Fencing, Fighting, Torture, Poison, True Love, Hate, Revenge, Giants, Hunters, Bad Men, Good Men, Beautifulest Women, Snakes, Spiders, Beasts of all nature and descriptions, Pain, Death, Brave Men, Coward Men, Strongest Men, Chases, Escapes, Lies, Truths, Passion, Miracles.

You tell me if this doesn't sound interesting.

I'll begin, as always, with a little background. I first heard about the Princess Bride through a series of quotes in Cornelia Funke's Inkheart Series (another great series that I mean to review someday), and they were mostly quotes on the love of reading, which I identify with greatly. Therefore, this year when I was ordering a set of books from america I decided that one of them should be the 'Princess Bride' by William Goldman. I didn't read a lot of reviews, and mainly bought the book just because it seemed really crazy and interesting, which is exactly how I like my books to be.

Crazy and Interesting: That's 'Princess Bride' for you.

The characters are a lot of fun to read about: from Buttercup (the heroine) who's the 'most beautiful girl in the world' and going to marry the Prince of the nation, but who still manages to be a selfish idiot and Westeley, her love, who can outfight a master swordsman, a huge giant and outwit a master tactician for his Buttercup, but who still is quite far from perfection. Their sweet, crazy relationship is a treat to read about, and the back bone of this book. But its the secondary characters who can really steal your heart: the spaniard Inigo, who is the best swordsman in the world and pretty damn cool, and Fezzik, a loveable, simple minded giant who loves rhymes, to even the main villian - Count Rugen, who has made a scientific study of torture.

The writing style can be a little bit difficult to follow (especially at first) for people who are used to reading books that have a linear narrative. The author skips around, first telling you his story about hearing the book from his father, and then cuts through S. Morgenstern's text to tell you stuff. However, this is also one of the best parts of the book, because the author's humorous interludes are really the cream of the cake when it comes to this book - the cake could be fine without the cream, but everyone knows its not a 'cake' if it doesn't have the cream.

A lot happens in the book. Good people die. Bad people die. There are heroic battles. There is a lot of bickering. There is a lot of love. But what you won't find here is a moment of stagnation, because after all this is a 'good parts version' of Morgenstern's original, and entire stages in the life of Buttercup are summed up by the author in a few words to ensure that readers (especially young ones) are always kept entertained by the narrative.

But this is also more than just a light-hearted book. If you dig deeper you can find that this book is also a book about life. It has, at best, a bittersweet ending - just like life. It has a lot of unfairness, just like life. Like in real life, bad things will happen in this book to people who are the 'good guys.' This book goes beyond being a fairytale in this respect. It doesn't give you great expectations that life will never fulfill. But despite all this, you will find that this book is hopeful. It ends on a note that gives you hope that somehow, somewhere, there is happiness in this world for these characters. A great lesson that kids all over the world should learn.

Last words: This is book I would definitely gift to my kid(s) on his/her tenth birthday. There can't be praise bigger than that.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I've been meaning to read this ever since I came across the quotes in the Inkworld books. After reading your review, one more addition to my to-read list!

  3. Hi, thanks so much for reading my review. :) Its really an honor coming from a reviewer I respect as much as you.


Leave me a comment on one of my reviews! Please remember, differences of opinion are welcome, obnoxious flame wars are not.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts with Thumbnails